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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Eastside Property: Welcome to Echo Park, condo people

There was a great deal of head shaking and eye rolling  in Echo Park last year when the first of 36 condos went up for sale at the corner of Echo Park and Delta avenues. Who would want to shell out $500,000 or more for a narrow condo with a view of the former Magic Gas station, a billboard and the crowd of hipsters, grad students and other patrons outside of Chango Coffee? (Don’t forget the squealing and chugging of the DASH bus passing by the front door).  But, after a relatively slow start, the 36-condo project built by developer D.R. Horton is nearly sold out.

The sales and homes under contract include those units perched nearly above the corner bus stop and directly across from the gas station, one of which sold for about $596,000, according to Redfin.  But that’s relatively cheap compared to the most expensive condo, one of the larger units located off Echo Park Avenue that went for$699,000, according to the sales person.

If you want to join Echo Park’s new condo crowd, you better move fast. Only two units remain available.

 



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96 comments

  1. This soon to be roach coach blight to the senses makes me so annnngry.

  2. This soon to be roach coach blight to the senses makes me so annnngry.

  3. I’m over it. I will always miss the empty lot and blue sticks though.

  4. I’m over it. I will always miss the empty lot and blue sticks though.

    • I’m with you, Echo Park. This battle was lost, let’s welcome the new folks to the neighborhood and hope they might be motivated to fight the new battles, such as Barlow Hospital and Dodgers wanting to put a football stadium on their property.

  5. Lol… Once the 24 hour security is gone, The HOA is going to go bankrupt from repainting those walls every single morning…

    • Totally! OMG! You are so right! Great insight in to the ways of the world! More! More! More! More lol brilliance pleasse!

  6. Lol… Once the 24 hour security is gone, The HOA is going to go bankrupt from repainting those walls every single morning…

  7. A fully sold somewhat unattractive condo complex is far less offensive to me that the horrid ORSINI which to my knowledge is only a fraction occupied with all of the vacant storefronts as well. I was an early hater on this place, but at the end of the day, it could have looked worse and been vacant which would have made me miserable.

  8. A fully sold somewhat unattractive condo complex is far less offensive to me that the horrid ORSINI which to my knowledge is only a fraction occupied with all of the vacant storefronts as well. I was an early hater on this place, but at the end of the day, it could have looked worse and been vacant which would have made me miserable.

  9. i live up the street from these and at first thought it was out of place and too big for the area . i waited a while before actually going in and checking them out. i have to say i was totally impressed with the use of space and quality of the development. the real eyesore to the community was the half built, overgrown lot that sat empty for years. i am glad these are here now, and happy to hear they have sold well. welcome , EP condo people.

  10. i live up the street from these and at first thought it was out of place and too big for the area . i waited a while before actually going in and checking them out. i have to say i was totally impressed with the use of space and quality of the development. the real eyesore to the community was the half built, overgrown lot that sat empty for years. i am glad these are here now, and happy to hear they have sold well. welcome , EP condo people.

    • Agreed. I’ve actually come to enjoy the sight of the condos. People–rather than resist change, let’s just embrace it.

  11. Zillow says the units at 1615 Echo Park Ave. (I presume at least that one at $596,000) are worth no more than $460,595. So if people paid those prices, they seem to have significantly overpaid — and so will sorry later when they try to sell — especially after mortgage rates stat going up and return to 8%.

    http://www.zillow.com/homes/1615-ECHO-PARK-Ave.,-Los-Angeles,-CA-90026_rb/#saved-search-lightbox

    • The condos may be overpriced – though I would argue that whatever people agree to pay is what they’re worth – but Zillow often seems to underestimate home values. Also, I doubt any of the buyers have a variable-rate mortgage. With 30-year fixed rates hovering around 3.5%, anyone who takes out a variable-rate loan is bonkers.

      • On further reading, I think you may be implying that home values will go down when mortgage rates creep up rather than saying that they have variable-rate loans. I agree; they’re buying at the top of the market, but their mortgage payments may be low enough where they can rent out their units and come out even (or close to even) if they can’t sell their unit.

        • zillow underestimates in most cases based on an average of comps in the area. currently on zillow my house worth over $35,000 less than what it was just valued at. and, it gave a range of 120,ooo less than what it’s worth, to over $125,000 more than we paid for it. so, i wouldn’t really quote them.

    • So true Mark, any condo is not a good investment, especially in Echo Park.

    • Oh please don’t tell me you believe what is printed on Zillow! that site is a complete joke.

  12. Echo park avenue=2 lanes. New condo people = + 72 est. cars.

    Say welcome to more: pollution, traffic gridlock
    & full sleeve tattooed yuppie hipsters.

    Thanks “smart growth” politician/real estate demons!

    • I think you’re missing the point of smart growth. This development is in a WALKABLE neighborhood, so ideally people won’t be using their cars as much. Also, the DASH is right there, so people can take the bus.

      Really, the only people that suffer are those that refuse to be open to the idea of walking/biking/taking the bus.

      • Most of what people will be doing will be in a car — just like every other last person in LA. They will drive to work, not walk. They will drive to the supermarket, not walk. They will drive to thee MOCA or MOMA or Getty, not walk. They will drive to Glendale Galleria, not walk. etc., etc. They’re not even going to walk to the local restaurant, because the woman will be wearing her heals and just isn’t going to do that. And they’re not going to ride a bicycle either. And when they have a party, they’re visitors will be driving over there.

        This assertion that has become far too common, in order to justify overbuilding, that no one is going to drive is unrealistic and how areas get ruined, is bad planning.

      • Eric, Name one, just one supermarket people at this location will be able to walk to buy groceries?

        • Soon to reopen gas mart right across the frickin street, Cookshop or Cookstop or whatever the hell it’s called, Walgreens, House of Spirits, that grungy one up the block, that bright yellow one farther up the block, the one that only mexicans go to around the corner on sunset, the asian one east on sunset that smells like fish. So many choices, man. Hellooooo.

        • Driving to the supermarket is one round-trip car voyage per week. If these people are going to the Getty or to the Glendale Galleria, sure they’re going to drive. But how often do people do that? And especially “full sleeve tattooed yuppie hipsters”? There’s about a million options much more appealing to this type of person that are within walking distance, or a quick bus or bike ride downtown. Presumably at least some people that want to buy a condo directly above a bus stop are doing it *because* of the bus convenience and not *in spite of* the bus sounds, as suggested by the original post.

        • Vons. It’s .6 miles away which means a 12 minute walk and I cant believe no one would think this is an option. Even carrying a few bags of groceries this is an easy task.

    • you know they are not all coming and going at the same time, all day long, right? people were all up in arms for the same reasons about the new 7-11, “think of the traffic!”. now that it’s open i haven’t noticed any more traffic before. same rule applies here.

    • There are already small traffic jams at the intersection during the evening rush hour. How do we stop these “high density” developments from ruining our neighborhood? (Thanks to Eric Garcetti.) I have no problem with these sort of large scale condos complexes along MAJOR streets (if they aren’t as butt ugly as this one) but in the hills it’s fricking ridiculous.

  13. @ST – thanks for the welcome, appreciate it after seeing all the vile/hater comments over the past few months every time this project comes up. I’m one of the folks who have been willing to take a chance and invest in Echo Park and call it home. I’ve been renting in the Los Feliz/Silver Lake area for a quite a while, and was happy to have a chance to buy in EP. @Vista – from an architecture standpoint I would have preferred something more contemporary (like the Mix lofts on Glendale across from Ralphs) for sure and yeah I agree those Orsini apts are just horrid fortresses, so all things considered 36 on Echo isn’t so bad..

    • Welcome to the neighborhood!

      • thanks! Glad to be here.. :)

        • We just bought a unit too, hopefully the community will come to see we all aren’t so bad. I work from home and plan to be walking/biking to lots of stuff in EP.

          • i’m cool with all of you new residents, welcome to EP. i hope you guys know that all of the hateful crap you read on this blog is spewed by a small minority of the local population, and doesn’t reflect the true neighborhood vibe. most of the people here are very friendly and warm.

          • cool. hope to meet ya soon.. :)

          • We don’t hate you, it’s just your ugly out of scale building. Take care of your property and get involved with the community and we might actually come to like you:)

    • Sorry you have no taste in architecture or design. If you really cared about the area, you would have bought one of the many historic homes available in Echo Park in need of some TLC and vision.

      Not everything new is necessarily good.

      • Ew & hillster,

        You obviously care about EP, and thats great. Us ‘condo’ people do too. Some of us have been in the area for years and just took the leap to buying. The historic homes throughout echo park are indeed treasures, but they are not for everyone. I was in escrow in one, only to find out it would need tens of thousands in repairs. Not everyone is able to make the financial and time commitment these properties require. Also, if you’ve looked on redfin lately, the inventory in EP is extremely low, driving up prices even higher. For people with long work hours, new construction is appealing, affordable, and makes a lot of sense.

        Also, I understand why some people don’t like the exterior design of the complex. I personally am fine with it but understand how it can contrast with the neighbors. But all areas are constantly evolving and I’m sure sooner or later even newer buildings will go up nearby. There are trees planted out front that will over time mature and help the complex to blend in.

        Like a wise commenter said already, we’re not from mars. We’re hardworking people from LA, many of us were already on the eastside. We’re happy and proud to be living here, and wouldn’t be here otherwise.

        I promise to try and be a great neighbor. Take it easy.

      • EW,
        Please post a link to your home, your car, your clothing, your face so we can see how amazing your taste is.

      • Ew,

        My husband and I have been trying to make the transition from renting to purchasing a home in EP for over a year. All these historic homes are absolutely gorgeous- filled with charm, character, and obviously, history. They are also purchased for BAGS OF CASH by investors. The average working, middle, or even upper class family doesn’t have a shot at them with a bank loan. They are then flipped for significantly more money by, very often, more cash buyers.

        Would a townhome here be our first choice? No. But we’d like to stop throwing away our money on rent and be in an area where we can walk to the same beautiful hills, parks, shops, and restaurants that you surely love if you are so protective of this community. If we decided to purchase a home here, it wouldn’t be because we’re in love with the aesthetic of the new construction, or because we want giant walls keeping us separate from the community. “Ew,” if you happen to have an extra half a million plus in cash you’d care to offer to those of us who would be all too pleased to purchase and and an ad’ll 100k+ to rehab one of the many beautiful craftsman homes that are part of the flavor of the community, then by all means, send prospective buyers a wire transfer. If not, then please keep your naive judgements to yourself.

        The only walls put up in echo park are the ones created by all the negative comments on this thread.

        If you don’t want to live in a community where things grow and so do populations, buy a farm out in the country somewhere. But if you want to continue living in a city, it’s going to grow in ways you may like, and other ways you may hate. But hating the people who are a part of the city because they don’t share or can’t afford the same tastes as you is a stain on an otherwise wonderful community.

        To all these nasty people trying to keep homeowners out of “your” neighborhood – you live in a city. It does not belong to you, it belongs to the people. Inevitably, it will keep belonging to more and more and more people, unless Angelenos as we know them cease to conceive.

        My husband and I are incredibly average, hard working people who happen to love the same community you all do. We don’t have hipster tat sleeves and we didn’t grow up in the neighborhood either. Echo Park is a diverse community and that’s part of what makes it great. No one says you have to be best friends with your neighbors, but you certainly don’t have to be aholes to them either.

    • Welcome to the neighborhood! Don’t mind the angry birds. It’s the same 5 people who hate anything new in Echo Park. My grandmother, mother, and I all grew up in EP. Things have changed and continue to change. It’s called life. Some of the change I like, some not so much. The point is all things change. Anyone who would buy a condo in EP is probably attracted to the very things most of the residents here in EP love about their hood. To say an empty lot with a half built complex is better than the current building is just ridiculous. So just remember , these negative people don’t speak for EP. Welcome, welcome, welcome!

  14. @ST – thanks for the welcome, appreciate it after seeing all the vile/hater comments over the past few months every time this project comes up. I’m one of the folks who have been willing to take a chance and invest in Echo Park and call it home. I’ve been renting in the Los Feliz/Silver Lake area for a quite a while, and was happy to have a chance to buy in EP. @Vista – from an architecture standpoint I would have preferred something more contemporary (like the Mix lofts on Glendale across from Ralphs) for sure and yeah I agree those Orsini apts are just horrid fortresses, so all things considered 36 on Echo isn’t so bad..

  15. Curious to see how many of these are owner occupied versus investment properties. Personally, wish they had been required to develop some green space in there instead of packing em in like sardines.

    • I doubt that many investors would buy brand-new condos at full retail price in Echo Park. It seems investors are going after single-family homes, and I’m guessing that foreign investors who would buy condos would be more interested in West L.A. or the San Gabriel Valley (Monterey Park, Alhambra, Arcadia).

    • There’s plenty of green space just a couple blocks away at Elysian Park. In general, I’d rather the city preserve (and expand, and create) large green spaces in each neighborhood, rather than putting tiny green spaces on each block.

  16. Curious to see how many of these are owner occupied versus investment properties. Personally, wish they had been required to develop some green space in there instead of packing em in like sardines.

  17. Yes. Welcome to the neighborhood. We all hope you become active and engaged in the Echo Park community. Echo Park has and is a special place due to the amount of good folks engaged in tree planting, saving Elysian Park, working with local youth, raising money for neighborhood causes, working with crime enforcement and graffiti abatement, working with local politicians, etc.
    I’m not opposed to growth or these condos, but it does bother me when folks move in, shut the doors, put up a fence, and are not an active and engaged member of the community. It truly does take a village to BE a village. Get involved in some way in your new community and WELCOME.

    • People moving in to these units aren’t coming from Mars! They are coming from the surrounding area or, believe this or not, Echo Park. You act like they need to do what you say or they aren’t welcome in their own neighborhood. I guess you should add to your long list of what Echo Park is that we are also highly judgmental of newcomers.

  18. Welcome to the neighborhood! Change is good.

  19. I lived across from that depressing lot for two years. I used to walk my dogs up and down past it everyday and I remember thinking “I don’t care what they do with this place, but do something with it.” People need a place to live, and I don’t think they look too bad at all. It gives the place a better vibe and will benefit business. It will create a whole bunch of new people who will love and want to protect Elysian Park. How could it not?

  20. I lived across from that depressing lot for two years. I used to walk my dogs up and down past it everyday and I remember thinking “I don’t care what they do with this place, but do something with it.” People need a place to live, and I don’t think they look too bad at all. It gives the place a better vibe and will benefit business. It will create a whole bunch of new people who will love and want to protect Elysian Park. How could it not?

  21. I Welcome our new Condo-living, tattoo-sleeved yuppie over-lords

  22. “tattooed yuppies”

  23. Get rid of the weedy-looking power poles sitting out front. It’s the 21st century, not the pokey, primitive early 1900s. Angelenos, unfortunately, have quite a knack for tolerating cheap aspects of their infrastructure.

  24. Can we get organized at least to change the light fixtures along the Echo Park facade? Illuminate the building and the sidewalk, Great! But remove those glaring exposed light bulbs….Lighting Design 101–don’t make us look at the source of light! This lo0ks like an ocean liner when you come upon it from up the street.

    • I drive past here often at night (on a scooter folks, 90 mpg) and the lighting of these places is atrocious! If I lived nearby I would be so angry! It’s like a prison yard or a big box store…. waaaaaaaay to bright and obnoxious. Hopefully the association will change this to a more ‘neighborhood appropriate’ degree of lighting soon.

    • “I couldn’t agree more. The lights are way too bright, not full-spectrum (therefore of irritating quality), and VERY distracting to drivers. I’m certainly glad I don’t live across the street from them. At the VERY LEAST, replace the clear jelly jars with frosted ones. Better yet, replace the bulbs with nice, calm, 40 watt incandescents which won’t blind passers by or jangle their nerves

    • http://www.darksky.org…... there’s a lot that could be done in a small, active place like EP…..

  25. Mmm… cinder blocks.

  26. Welcome to the neighborhood. Don’t be scared by the haters.

  27. Not Another Neighbor

    I live opposite. Im glad the construction has stopped and im much more pleased with the resulting condos than I had initially thought. I still get a view above the condos from my apartment so its not too bad for me. The only problem is that the night lights on the front of the property are pretty damn dazzling which, whilst making the street better lit, gives off a heck of a lot of light pollution.

    All these units have two car garages so I dont think the parking will be effected and traffic is already pretty crappy with the new stop sign up the street so I doubt it will get any worse. Probably just stay bad.

    So welcome new comers or now owners or whatever. Make sure you tip the locals.

  28. That’s a lot of money!!!

  29. Sorry, that building is quite the ugly facade on Echo Park Ave.

  30. I too am happy the units are sold. They’re still not pretty, but, not as bad as The Orsini—urgh, and far better than an empty lot. Anyway, I hope that at some point the influx of newcomers to Echo Park will convince a nice grocery store to open up next to Walgreens. The empty building is so depressing as is our choice of supermarkets. I love Cookbook and our Friday Farmer’s Market, but we need a more full service alternative. Hate the gross Ralph’s on Glendale and the dark depressing Vons.

  31. It astounds me that Trader Joes won’t open here in Echo Park. A Trader Joes would do exceedingly well in that space next to the world’s ugliest Walgreens.

    • Or if Walgreens would open their “urban” concept store like the one at Hollywood and Vine — it pretty tricked out — food to go, mini grocery section, even a juice bar. It is the nicest Walgreens I’ve ever seen ever.. worth a visit if in that area..

  32. Also a new owner moving in. Really hoping for a grocery store next to Walgreen’s (it has to be coming, right?). And definitely planning to leave the car in the garage to walk around the neighborhood.

  33. Fresh N Easy was in negotiations for that spot. Don’t know the update,since they are scaling back. And yes, it would be nice. I for one still miss the Pioneer..sigh.

    • And the even older Pioneer before that… old time grocery store….. back entrance on the parking lot….. good times……

    • @hagatha – Sadly F&E isn’t doing well in the US http://bit.ly/Wmfij3 so I’m sure negotiations just stopped. I would have been awesome to have a full service grocery in walking distance.. (Although I know there are some smaller markets not too far away).. a standard chain grocery store would have been cool..

      @Scoby – nice! hope to meet ya soon..

  34. I was worried about this one too, but it looks a lot better than I thought it would! Coming soon to the corner of Glendale and Clifford are some pretty ugly buildings, though. 18 SFR’s,crammed in like condo’s, but without an HOA. Wheee!

  35. I was worried about this one too, but it looks a lot better than I thought it would! Coming soon to the corner of Glendale and Clifford are some pretty ugly buildings, though. 18 SFR’s,crammed in like condo’s, but without an HOA. Wheee!

  36. I’m glad the condos are selling and I’m guessing some of them are people who already live in or around the neighborhood. Not everyone wants the potential costs of caring for an old house or a hillside home. I wish they didn’t tower over the street the way they do but I’m much happier walking by homes than the abandoned construction site with the tattered fence we had for years. I hope they tone down the floodlights.

  37. I’m glad the condos are selling and I’m guessing some of them are people who already live in or around the neighborhood. Not everyone wants the potential costs of caring for an old house or a hillside home. I wish they didn’t tower over the street the way they do but I’m much happier walking by homes than the abandoned construction site with the tattered fence we had for years. I hope they tone down the floodlights.

  38. Another Eric Garcetti failure and he wants to become mayor do he can futhrt do the developers bidding. I wont be fooled again.

  39. Most of what people will be doing will be in a car — just like every other last person in LA. They will drive to work, not walk. They will drive to the supermarket, not walk. They will drive to thee MOCA or MOMA or Getty, not walk. They will drive to Glendale Galleria, not walk. etc., etc. They’re not even going to walk to the local restaurant, because the woman will be wearing her heals and just isn’t going to do that. And they’re not going to ride a bicycle either. And when they have a party, they’re visitors will be driving over there.

    This assertion that has become far too common, in order to justify overbuilding, that no one is going to drive is unrealistic and how areas get ruined, is bad planning.

  40. Eric, Name one, just one supermarket people at this location will be able to walk to buy groceries?

  41. People from Echo Park are driving to MOMA? That’s 2,794 miles away (I googled mapped it).

  42. We just bought a unit too, hopefully the community will come to see we all aren’t so bad. I work from home and plan to be walking/biking to lots of stuff in EP.

  43. Cookbook! Which if they are all yuppies living in there thats where they’d be shopping right?

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